Volume 19, Number 6
September 2002


Renaissance: Rethink, Renew, Retool

By Karen J. Mathis

Do you remember when you last truly loved being a lawyer? Perhaps it was today, or maybe it was a long time ago. I've been practicing 27 years now, and I like to say I've been a "serial specialist" during that time. Perhaps it's the twists and turns my practice has taken that make me feel it is still new and interesting. But most likely, it's my great friends who are also lawyers, and my bar activities, that have kept the law so fresh for me.

There is excitement in the air when the law and its practitioners are discussed-its increasing diversity, multijurisdictional practice, "Ethics 2000," multidisciplinary practice, globalization, the profit crunch, niche marketing, huge starting salaries, crushing law school debt, and the tyranny of the billable hour-and that's without even mentioning Law & Order, The Practice, or Court TV.

All of the new trends in law affect general practitioners and solo and small firm lawyers very directly. Sometimes it seems overwhelming, and perhaps your first inclination is to pull the covers over your head and ignore it all! There is an alternative: You can embrace a renaissance in your life and your practice! Ride the wave of change that is morph-ing the practice of law as we know it.

Join other lawyers, like me, at the ABA General Practice Section's Fall Meeting in San Diego, California, October 3-6, 2002. Renaissance: Rethink, Renew, Retool is our theme, and it's our goal to send you home equipped with a fresh perspective and new tools to use in your work and your life. Our educational programs and social events have been designed with your entire family in mind. So all attendees can rethink their professional and personal interests; renew their spirits with old and new friends while helping others; and retool by learning new skills for life and work!

You'll see all types of folks at our Section's meetings because we are the home for almost every breed of lawyer in the ABA-from new associates at large firms to the senior partner of a five-person shop; the part-time lawyer practicing family law out of the home to the managing partner of a Brooklyn practice setting; the military lawyer to the lawyer in transition; law student to senior lawyer in a new practice setting. It's the place for general practitioners as well as solo and small firm lawyers; for lawyers who like to "go it alone" as well as those with finely honed organizational skills in larger organizations. This is your home in the ABA, and we want you to enjoy it with us in sunny Southern California.

Our group isn't stuffy, formal, or overly academic, and everyone will find something useful at our Section's meetings! We've planned an exciting year, focused on achieving a renaissance of new thought, new spirit, and new tools to assist you. You'll hear more about these exciting plans as the year progresses. For now, here's what you need to remember: Book your flights, reserve a room, block your calendar, and register to join us in San Diego this October for a refreshing time away from your office-you deserve it!

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